Christopher Bush was a good person, his long-time girlfriend said Tuesday, but something “went wrong” and he got killed.
UTICA — Christopher Bush was a good person, his long-time girlfriend said Tuesday, but something “went wrong” and he got killed.
“He was a very good person,” Nikita Harris said from her Augusta, Ga. home. “He didn’t deserve to die like that. He was a very good father. We’re not perfect, but as a father he was a very good father.”
Bush, 29, was killed around 3:15 p.m. Aug. 12 in Cornhill when police said a drug transaction “went bad” and resulted in his death. Charged with his death is 18-year-old Elijah Brown of Utica.
Police Chief Mark Williams said Brown and Bush had a “prearrangement” to make a transaction – something he later clarified was a drug transaction.
Williams said an investigator obtained statements from Brown that implicated him in Bush’s death. He said cellphone records between the victim and the suspect identified Brown as a suspect.
But Harris, who has three children with Bush and had been in a relationship with him for 14 years that ended in January, said she was told that Bush was trying to purchase a gun from Brown.
She said people from Utica started reaching out to her on Facebook after the homicide, claiming that Brown – who she referred to as ‘EZ’ – was responsible for Bush’s death.
“I inboxed him on Facebook and I told him I heard he was the killer and said it’s not right what he did to Chris. I asked him: ‘Why did you kill my children’s father,’ and (Brown) wrote a whole lot of statements. He lied; he said he was out of town when Chris got killed. I wasn’t threatening him. I was just trying to get my point across. I don’t know anybody out (in Utica), but people reached out to me and said ‘EZ is the killer,’ and that Chris tried to buy a gun from EZ.”
Harris said she believed Brown “felt so bad” after that conversation that he turned himself in to law enforcement.
Meanwhile, Utica police Lt. Bryan Coromato confirmed that law enforcement believes “there was the possibility” there was going to be an exchange between Bush and Brown of money and drugs for a handgun, but he denied that Brown turned himself in.
He said law enforcement made contact with Brown within the first 24 hours of the case and said the defendant has been cooperative.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the state police dive team was searching the Mohawk River at Genesee Street for the small caliber handgun believed to be the murder weapon.
Bush was shot on the 1300 block of Brinckerhoff Avenue before being taken to St. Elizabeth Campus of the Mohawk Valley Health System by Utica firefighters.
Lifesaving attempts by Emergency Room staff were unsuccessful.
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